Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Heritage Grains for 2010 – Part 3

Harvesting (Combining) the seed plots once they get too big to harvest by hand becomes more of a challenge. I have been agonizing over the purchase of a newer, larger combine for the past year. I have pretty much made up my mind to buy an International 914. It is a large pull-type combine from the late 70’s. It is a conventional combine as opposed to a rotary so it is simple and cheap to repair; and I have the 3788 2+2 to pull it with. They are a good sized combine for under $2000! With this new combine I will be able keep the Gleaner C2 free to harvest the smaller plots and just clean it out between plots. It is small enough to clean very easily. I am always on the lookout for another C2 sized combine. They are less than $1000 and usually closer to free!


  1. In the picture you seem to be working down a windrow. I've seen there seems to be a type of combine that harvests the grain while its standing -- is that a rotary combine, or are you doing something other than harvesting grain in this picture -- something with the straw?

    Is there a difference in yield between the various methods?

  2. Bruce, this is the way we combine grain without chemicals. First, once the grain is ripened enough we cut it with a swather. When the grain has been in the swath long enough to be completely dry we can go ahead and combine it. There is no difference in the straight cut combine and the windrow combine other than the head. In conventional grain farming the crops are sprayed with herbicide in the fall once they are fairly mature. Only after that can the crops be straight combined. In longer growing seasons of the U.S. it is possible for the grains to fully ripen and dry in order to straight cut combine but not here in Canada. I should also clarify that this isn't me combining either. It is just a picture of the 914 combine that I am considering purchasing.

  3. Also, there is no difference in yield between the two types of harvesting methods. Straight cut combining simply eliminates the need to go out and cut the crops into swaths.